What Songs Will Britney Spears Perform at the Billboard Music Awards?

What Songs Will Britney Spears Perform at the Billboard Music Awards?

Here's what she's supposed to sing, and a list of tracks she should

Here's what she's supposed to sing, and a list of tracks she should

Text: Ian David Monroe

At the 2016 Billboard Music Awards on Sunday, May 22, Britney Spears—who recently covered our 100th issue—will be awarded the Billboard Millennium Award, joining fellow recipients Beyonce and Whitney Houston. To commemorate the honor, Spears will open the awards show with a medley of greatest hits. This means bringing a shortened version of her successful residency in Vegas to television screens around the world. While speculation of her set list proliferated the Internet, the buzz came to a halt with the leak of an alleged photo of the tracks she’ll perform.

The first thing you should notice is that there is not a representative track from each of her eras: …Baby One More Time, Oops!... I Did It Again, Britney, In the Zone, Blackout, Circus, Femme Fatale, and Britney Jean. While eight condensed tracks may have been a little ambitious, it would be a showstopper, too. You’ll also notice that she won’t be performing her rumored new single “Make Me (Oooh),” which has been reportedly pushed back to later this summer.

These shortcomings can be forgiven—this is Britney Spears we’re talking about—but that won’t stop anyone from dreaming of their perfect Britney medley. Below is a list of tracks too often forgotten and too damn good to ignore.

"Everytime" If there is one song that should truly define the singer, it is "Everytime"—the one song penned entirely by Spears. The reflective song, allegedly written as a post-break-up response to Justin Timberlake's "Cry Me A River," also has an ominously prophetic music video, keeping in mind that "Everytime" was released five years prior to Spears' very public meltdown.

"Me Against The Music" Literally, only including this one on the off-chance that Madonna would show up.

"Lucky" Was there a karaoke night or HitClips in the world that wasn't blasting Britney's melodramatic "Lucky" when it came out in 2000? Unlikely. The song came out during Spears' relationship with boy bander Justin Timberlake, making her the envy of the world. In hind sight, whether intentionally or not, this might have been our first clue that Brit Brit wasn't completely cut out for the mega-star lifestyle.

"Toxic" Few music videos have so pervasively entered pop culture consciousness quite like "Toxic." A lot of that influence has to do with its sexed-up femme fatale music video, but that doesn't subtract from the track's infectiousness. Heads turn and souls awake with just those first few synth string cords—now that's a hit.

"Heaven On Earth" Listen, Blackout is undeniably the greatest era of Britney Spears, no matter how messy its rollout, and album art. Does it represent a positively glowing period of her life? No. But it did give her an iconic catch phrase: "It's Britney, bitch." After that fumbled 2007 VMAs performance, you can assuredly cross "Gimme More" off your list of songs you ever hope to see her perform, which is fine. (Update: Okay, so turns out she does play it, but the point stands.) She could sing any other track off the album—like "Heaven On Earth," a mild alternative to the explicit "Get Naked (I Got a Plan)."

"If U Seek Amy" PG13 Britney is the best Britney, and no track in her discography is more devilishly inappropriate than "If U Seek Amy." In case you don't know, the title is a euphemism for something entirely more explicit than finding your lost friend. (Disclaimer: I obliviously listened to this song for two weeks without having any idea what I was actually scream singing.)

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